Over the weekend I spent time doing two things. Neither of them was reading, sadly. I bedazzled a bra with fake rhinestones for my daughter’s mermaid costume. You guys…college and sorority halloween parties will be my death. My neck and shoulders are killing me still. But…the bra turned out spectacular even if I do say so myself. The second thing I did, that I couldn’t stop myself from doing once I began, was glomming The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. That series pulled me in, I was invested. Until the final episode where it completely pissed me off and left me feeling like I’d wasted several hours of my time. I mean seriously….that’s how it ends?
I did read a lovely story by a new to me author.
Soaked by Courtney Elliott
Released: July 11, 2018
Lennon and Weston meet on Lennon’s 13th birthday which also happens to be the day she and her family arrive at their new home in Leering, TX. Lennon has ventured into the woods behind her house and while exploring falls through a wooden bridge. Weston appears seemingly out of nowhere. It begins to rain, so they run deeper into the woods for cover. Weston sees Lennon home safely and promises to bring his sister Katie by to meet Lennon as they are the same age. Katie and Lennon hit it off, and become best friends.
Soaked is a story of a true love that is meant to be. A love that has to survive the test of time, as well as things like other boyfriends and girlfriends, age differences, misunderstandings, girl code between best friends and cheating. All their monumental and most meaningful “firsts” together all seem to happen under the cover of a rainstorm. It follows Lennon and West over their high school and college years in vivid detail, and I was drawn in.
I struggled a little with the use of West and Lennon’s age difference as a reason why these two could not date. While only two years, the author makes a really big deal about this age difference once West turns 18 and Lennon is only 16. It’s the main reason that these two kids, who clearly love each other, do not get together–for years! I get it, I do. My son turned 18 his senior year in high school and I constantly reminded him about the fact that he was an “adult” now and would be treated as such in a court of law. In this story, however, the reader knows West to be a good kid, an honorable young man who cares for his mom and younger sister. Lennon’s parents are friendly with West and Katie’s mom and they spend time together. Yet, Lennon’s dad is adamant that West is too old for Lennon to date. So, West and Lennon are apart for years while West is in college and Lennon finishes high school and goes to college herself.
Of course, this is a love story, so these two do eventually get together. There is an extensive epilogue that spans many years and ties in a scene from the beginning which confused me a bit until I put two and two together and was like, “oh, duh!”
I enjoyed this story. It hit all my romance buttons. I loved that West at only 15 saw beyond Lennon’s glasses, braces and frizzy hair and saw her inner beauty from their first meeting. I like this author’s voice, and I am not a professional, but I think the story could have benefited from some editing. I love an epilogue, I do, but this one jumps years at a time to show Lennon and West’s life together. I think I’d have enjoyed that more if their early years had been condensed a bit and we could have enjoyed their time together in real time and not just a memory.